Congratulations! You’ve purchased a condominium. Now you need to make sure you have homeowners insurance just as you would if you owned a free-standing house. Usually homeowners insurance will cover loss and liability, as well as your personal items and the people inside the condo.
A master condo policy covers different things. The master policy should be paid for by your condo association fees. There are two types of master policies: “bare walls-in” and “all-in.”
This type of policy will cover the property from the exterior framing inward, but doesn’t cover fixtures and installations within the actual condo unit itself. These include flooring, granite countertops, bath and kitchen fixtures, etc.
This covers everything including fixtures and interior additions—everything inside the walls of the condo unit.
Here are some other things the master condo policy should cover:
- Limited Common Elements
A condo’s master policy should treat you as part-owner of “limited common elements.” These include things on the exterior of the building, from the framing to the sidewalks, lawns, roads and other exterior elements. Through the policy, these areas should be insured against loss and liability.
- Ordinance and Law Coverage
This is good to have when repairs, renovations, or major projects like painting become necessary. The condo association will hire contractors to work on the renovations, and this will cover the cost. It will also cover costs due to repairs if the property should become damaged. Ordinance and Law Coverage protects you against weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Flood insurance may be mandated if you live in a flood zone. Otherwise, it’s an optional, but important, item to consider having in your policy.
- Inflation Coverage
This is designed to keep pace with inflation, should something in the exterior of the building need to be repaired. The cost that is covered shouldn’t be what the repair would have cost years ago, so this coverage keeps it up-to-date.
- Comprehensive General Liability
If someone trips and falls on the sidewalk of your condominium complex, this protects condo owners from legal liability in case of bodily or personal injury. It also covers property damage.
- Backup of Drain and Sewer
This gives you coverage for unforeseen accidents that could affect your personal property.
The master condo policy, or the condo association policy, should also cover those things that you, as the condo owner, may not even think about. A dishonest employee working in the mail room, for instance.
For your own protection, it’s a good idea, as a condo owner, to get personal property coverage. This will protect you from burglary if someone breaks in and steals your personal items inside your individual unit.
Last but not least, before you purchase a condo, make sure you know what the association deductible will be. For example, if an act of nature, such as a hurricane, should damage the building, every condo unit owner is expected to make a payment toward the association deductible. Make sure it’s not too expensive.
For all your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.
Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.